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Thread: How much power does a car PC use?

  1. #1
    Newbie sydneyACE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    How much power does a car PC use?

    So I've been thinking about the problem of slow boot times... Why not leave the PC on when you leave the car for less than 10 hours?
    How much power does a typical car PC use when it's simply sitting "idle" (without the monitor on)?

    My best guesstimate is around 5amps... but I was wondering if anyone had an accurate measurment.

    The whole idea here is to give the PC its own battery, and just leave it on when you leave the car. That way when you get back in the car, and start it up, all you need to do is turn the monitor back on. No need to wait for boot up, just un-pause the music and roll out.
    By giving the PC its own battery, you wouldn't have to worry about it draining the car's battery. When the engine is started, you could use a relay or solenoid to charge the PC's battery from the alternator.

    Obviously the PC would be powered down if left for long periods of time (more than 10 hours). Could say a 40amp hour battery sustain an "idle" PC for 10-15 hours?
    Let me know what you guys think. Is this a dumb idea, or something that would work.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    you're talking about tank battery.

    It won't last 10 hours, 2 hours might be possible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    My friend leaves his on all the time, he puts it in S3 standby mode. It is a laptop to begin with, and S3 standby uses very little power... still too nervous to do something like that myself, can't be good for your battery.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate krnpimpsta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    DC Metro area
    Lots of laptops use ~15 watts of power with no LCD screen. That translates to 1.25 amps at 12 volts. So if you have a typical 50 Amp Hour battery dedicated to your laptop, it should theoretically last 40 hours from a full charge.

    Now my computer uses 250 watts, so I'd get about 12 minutes. If you use laptop components, you can easily make an always on computer that doesn't need to enter standby.

  5. #5
    Newbie sydneyACE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    I guess I should be a little more specific. How about this computer here?

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